Carleton University Canada's 
Capital University

Graduate Calendar Archives: 2003 / 2004

Cognitive Science

Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies
Dunton Tower 2216
Telephone: (613) 520-2368
Fax: (613) 520-3985

The Institute

Director of the Institute: Andrew Brook

Director of the Cognitive Science Doctoral Program: Robert Stainton

The Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies offers a program of study and research leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Cognitive Science.

The Schools of Computer Science, Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, and the departments of Psychology and Philosophy participate in the doctoral program.

The program offers two fields of study:

  • language and cognition
  • representation and learning

The field of language and cognition includes the following sub-fields: linguistic theory, psycholinguistics, linguistic methodology, philosophy of language, the mind's processing of language, acquisition of language and other symbolic systems, memory and language, text analysis, computational linguistics, natural language processing, and alternative architectures.

The field of representation and learning includes the following sub-fields: the mind's cognitive resources and how it uses them, memory, vision, attention, the psychophysics and neural foundations of cognition, philosophical theories of representation, history of cognitive science, evolutionary approaches to cognition, knowledge representation, computer simulations of memory constraints, expert systems, case-based systems, genetic algorithms, heuristic theorems, neural networks, support systems for cognitive processes, and machine learning.

Members of the Cognitive Science Doctoral Program

  • Andrew Brook, Philosophy of mind and language, Kant, history of cognitive science
  • Murray Clarke, Philosophy of mind (Concordia - Adjunct)
  • Jean-Pierre Corriveau, Natural language processing, time-constrained memory and text comprehension
  • Bruno Emond, Artificial Intelligence (University of Quebec at Hull - Adjunct)
  • Babak Esfandiari, Agent-based systems, symbolic machine learning, algorithms and heuristics
  • Helen Goodluck, language acquisition and processing (Ottawa - Adjunct)
  • Chris Herdman, Word recognition, phonemic and lexical processing, attention and word recognition
  • Marie-Odile Junker, Cognitive semantics, general linguistics
  • J.B. Kelly, Sensory neuroscience and related issues in the biological foundations of cognition
  • Ann Laubstein, Speech-production models, phonology, speech recognition algorithms
  • Jo-Anne Lefevre, Numerical and lexical cognition
  • John Logan, Spoken language perception, history of cognitive science
  • Stephen Marsh, Distributed artificial intelligence (NRC - Adjunct)
  • Stanislas Matwin, Symbolic machine learning (0ttawa - Adjunct)
  • John F. Meech, Intelligent agents, user interface agents, adaptive and intelligent agents (NRC - Adjunct)
  • Martin Montminy, Philosophy of mind, philosophy of language (Ottawa - Adjunct)
  • Kumiko Murasugi, Syntax, morphology, Inuit languages, neurolinguistics. (Ottawa - Adjunct)
  • Franz Oppacher, Genetic approaches to cognition, genetic algorithms, natural language and knowledge-based systems, machine learning, computational linguistics
  • W.M. Petrusic, Psychophysics of cognition science
  • Charles Reiss, Linguistics (Concordia - Adjunct)
  • Monique SÚnÚchal, Vocabulary acquisition
  • Robert Stainton, Philosophy of language and linguistics, pragmatics and semantics
  • Lew Stelmach, Vision and attention (Communication Research Centre) (Adjunct)
  • Stanislas Szpakowicz, Computational linguistics, knowledge acquisition, decision support systems (Ottawa - Adjunct)
  • Andre Vellino, Artificial Intelligence (imGenie - Adjunct)
  • Robert West, Cognitive modeling, human-computer interface
  • Helmut Zobl, Knowledge representation, second-language acquisition and processing

Admission Requirements

The requirements for admission into the Ph.D. program is a master's degree (or the equivalent) from one of the participating disciplines, an Honours degree from a participating discipline, a combined Honours degree (or the equivalent) from two of the participating disciplines or an Honours degree in cognitive science. Students with an Honours bachelor's degree from another discipline with a significant focus on cognition may also apply.

Normally, a substantial proportion of an applicant's work will have been in natural and/or artificial cognition.

Applicants with a master's degree are normally admitted to a 10.0 credit program while applicants with a bachelor's degree are admitted to a 15.0 credit program.

Students who are eligible for admission to the 10.0 credit program but who have deficiencies may be required to take additional courses. In some circumstances, these students will be admitted to the 15.0 credit program.

An average of A- or better in relevant courses is normally required.

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate a fluent knowledge of English. This is normally satisfied by passing a TOEFL test with a score of 580 or better. (See the Proficiency in English section in the General Regulations of this Calendar.)

Before admission, a candidate must submit a description of his or her proposed area of thesis research and a member of the core faculty must indicate in writing that he or she is willing to supervise the student.

Program Requirements

Program requirements for the Ph.D. degree are outlined in the General Regulations section of this Calendar.

All doctoral students must successfully complete:

  • CGSC 6800 (1.0 credit);
  • 2.0 credits in the area of cognition from the course offerings of at least three of the four participating academic units and other than those offered by the cognitive science program;
  • CGSC 6900 (1.0 credit);
  • CGSC 6905 (1.0 credit);
  • a second language if required (see below);
  • a thesis (equivalent to 5.0 credits) which must be defended at an oral examination.

In addition, students in the 15.0 credit doctoral program in cognitive science must successfully complete:

  • CGSC 5001, CGSC 5002, CGSC 5003 and CGSC 5004;
  • PSYC 5200;
  • 2.0 credits in the area of cognition at the 5000- and 6000-level, chosen from the course offerings of at least three of the four participating academic units.

To enter the final 10.0 credits of the program, students must complete these courses with B+ or better. Students with a strong background in any of these required areas may apply to be exempted.

Any student planning to complete a dissertation with an applied cognitive emphasis is required to work for at least one term at a facility approved by the student's research supervisor and the Director of the Cognitive Science Program. Such a facility may include any institution, governmental laboratory, corporation, hospital or educational centre that is conducting research in the area of the student's specialization. Students should complete this work while registered in either the Comprehensive Examination (CGSC 6905) or the Ph.D. Thesis (CGSC 6909).

Comprehensive Examinations

The comprehensive examination consists of three parts. Each part must be completed in a different participating discipline (Psychology, Computer Science, Linguistics and Applied Language Studies or Philosophy). Under special circumstances another discipline may be substituted.

The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to provide a student with background in a number of approaches to cognition adequate for his or her thesis.

The comprehensive examination is graded as Passed with Distinction/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. If any part is graded Unsatisfactory, the student may resubmit the final assignment only one time.

As part of preparation for the comprehensive examination, the student must spend one term in a laboratory or other research venue in each of the three chosen disciplines.


A thesis committee is created prior to completion of the comprehensive examination. The committee is comprised of the thesis supervisor, one faculty member from outside the department, one other member of the core faculty and the director of the program, ex officio.

Normally students will conduct the research for their thesis in the research facilities of their supervisor.

A thesis proposal, prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the thesis supervisor's discipline, must be defended at an oral examination.

The thesis must be defended at an oral examination.

Residence Requirement

All Ph.D. candidates must be registered full-time in a minimum of six terms to satisfy the residence requirement (nine terms in the case of a 15.0 credit program).

Language Requirement

A second language is required when relevant to the student's program of research. Whether a second language is required and the level of proficiency expected will be determined at the time of admission based on the student's description of his or her proposed area of thesis research.

Guidelines for Completion of the Ph.D. Degree

All students must complete CGSC 6800 and normally will complete the required 2.0 credits within three terms of beginning the final 10.0 credits of the program. CGSC 6900 must be completed within six terms of beginning the final 10.0 credits of the program.

The first part of the comprehensive examination must be completed by the end of the fourth term after beginning the 10.0 credit program or the final 10.0 credits of the 15.0 credit program. The remaining two parts must be completed within an additional two terms.

Students in the 10.0 credit doctoral program will normally complete the degree in twelve terms of full-time study. Students in the 15.0 credit doctoral program will normally complete the degree in fifteen terms of full-time study.

Graduate Courses

Not all of the following courses are offered in a given year. For an up-to-date statement of course offerings for 2003-2004 and to determine the term of offering, consult the Registration Instructions and Class Schedule booklet, published in the summer and also available online at

Course Designation System

Carleton's course designation system has been restructured. The first entry of each course description below is the new alphanumeric Carleton course code, followed by its credit value in brackets. The old Carleton course number (in parentheses) is included for reference, where applicable.

Area Seminars

The purpose of an area seminar is to offer an advanced survey of one of the four participating disciplines.

CGSC 5001 [0.5 credit] (formerly 07.501)
Cognition and Artificial Cognitive Systems
An introduction to the contribution of artificial intelligence and computer modeling of cognitive processes to cognitive science. (Also listed as COMP 5100.)
CGSC 5002 [0.5 credit] (formerly 07.502)
Experimental Research in Cognition
An introduction to the contribution of experimental psychology and neuroscience to cognitive science. (Also listed as PSYC 5700.)
CGSC 5003 [0.5 credit] (formerly 07.503)
Cognition and Language
An introduction to the contribution of theoretical linguistics and linguistic research to cognitive science.
CGSC 5004 [0.5 credit] (formerly 07.504)
Cognition and Conceptual Issues
An introduction to the contribution of philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and other conceptual investigations to cognitive science. (Also listed as PHIL 5200.)

Core Seminars

CGSC 6800 [1.0 credit] (formerly 07.680)
Proseminar in Cognitive Science
An intensive survey of the central problems and issues of natural and artificial cognition and a brief examination of contemporary neuroscience. Compulsory in the first year of the final 10.0 credits. Students are required to complete the proseminar in the first year of registration.
CGSC 6900 [1.0 credit] (formerly 07.690)
Research Seminar in Cognitive Science
A full-credit seminar course devoted to the research of students, faculty, and guests of the cognitive science doctoral program. Normally a different researcher will present each week. Compulsory in the second year of the final 10.0 credits. Students in other years are expected to attend on a regular basis.
CGSC 6901 [0.5 credit] (formerly 07.691)
Directed Studies in Cognitive Science I
CGSC 6902 [0.5 credit] (formerly 07.692)
Directed Studies in Cognitive Science II
CGSC 6905 [1.0 credit] (formerly 07.695)
Comprehensive Examination
CGSC 6909 (formerly 07.699)
Ph.D. Thesis

Selection of Courses in Related Disciplines

Students may register in courses in the area of cognition offered by any of the participating departments, including Computer Science, Psychology, Linguistics, and Philosophy. Students may also register in courses offered by the University of Ottawa, subject to the General Regulations. Please note that not all courses are offered every year and some courses have limited enrolment. Students are advised to consult the Institute for scheduling details.

Courses with a four-letter prefix are Carleton University courses; those with a three-letter prefix are University of Ottawa courses.

Computer Science Courses
COMP 5005 (CSI 5390), COMP 5006 (CSI 5306)
COMP 5007 (CSI 5307), COMP 5100 (CSI 5180)
COMP 5200 (CSI 5182), COMP 5206 (CSI 5183)
COMP 5807 (CSI 5104), COMP 6604 (CSI 7162)
COMP 6901 (CSI 7901)
CSI 5101 (COMP 5601) Formal Models of Computational Systems
CSI 5162 (COMP 5702) Topics in the Theory of Computing Artificial Intelligence
CSI 5181 (COMP 5705) Applications in Software Development
CSI 5184 (COMP 5804) Logic Programming
CSI 5304 (COMP 5602) Knowledge Engineering
CSI 5386 (COMP 5505) Natural Language Processing
CSI 5387 (COMP 5706) Concept Learning Systems
CSI 5388 (COMP 5801) Topics in Machine Learning
CSI 5510 (COMP 5707) Formal Principles of Software Development
CSI 5580 (COMP 5100) Subject in Artificial Intelligence
Psychology (Cognitive Psychology)
PSYC 5106, PSYC 5300, PSYC 5301,
PSYC 5403, PSYC 5407, PSYC 5700,
PSYC 5703, PSYC 5704, PSYC 6206,
PSYC 6601, PSYC 6602, PSYC 6603,
PSYC 6605, PSYC 6700
Psychology (Neuroscience)
PSYC 5200, PSYC 6200, PSYC 6203,
PSYC 6204, PSYC 6205, PSYC 6604,
PSYC 6606
Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
LALS 5405, LALS 5601, LALS 5604,
LALS 5701, LALS 5902, LALS 5907
LIN 5915 Phonology LIN 5917 Syntax
LIN 5918 Semantics
LIN 6915 Topics in Phonological Theory
LIN 6917 Syntax
LIN 7901 Psycholinguistics
LIN 7951 Topics in Applied Linguistics
PHIL 5200, PHIL 5104, PHIL 5105, PHIL 5204, PHIL 5205, PHIL 5304, PHIL 5305
© 2021 Carleton University 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6 Canada | (613) 520-7400 Contact | Privacy Policy